Word Lens Translates Text in the Real World
has just released Word Lens
for the iPhone. Word Lens is a translation app similar to Babelfish
, but instead translates text from the iPhones camera in real time. Simply point the camera at any text, such as a street sign and the app will instantly translate the words for you on the fly. Word Lens doesn’t have to have an internet connection to perform this magic, however, instead it handles all of the processing on the iPhone itself.
Word Lens uses two different technologies in unison to achieve this remarkable feat. The app is part OCR (Optical Character Recognition) and part translation app. The two technologies work together to translate words with remarkable speed and accuracy. The translations are word for word, so the grammar may be a little off at times. The translations should be close enough, however, to get the point. For now, Word Lens is only capable of translating from Spanish to English and back. Each version costs $4.99. The app is free to download and demo, but you must use in-app purchasing to actually translate any text.
QuestVisual’s founders Otavio Good and John DeWeese took 2 ½ years to create Word Lens. They hope to make more languages available in the future, most likely adding European languages first. Hopefully, the developers will be able to expand the language selections to include some Asian languages as well. Imagine if you could travel to Tokyo and use this app to find your way around the city. That would be simply amazing.
Augment reality apps have always had much potential, but rarely have they been much more than impressive tech demos. Word Lens has raised the bar for what augment reality apps can do. I can’t wait to see what QuestVisual develops next. The future is now.